Gold production surpasses anticipated budget
Mining outfit, B2Gold Corp. on Wednesday through the Namibian Stock Exchange, announced that the company´s new Otjikoto Gold Mine achieved commercial production, ahead of schedule, on February 28. According to the company, the ramp up of production continues well ahead of budget.
B2Gold said the project continued its strong ramp up to commercial production ahead of schedule and produced 8,587 ounces against a budget of 8,267 ounces.
The better performance was attributed to additional mill availability (89.6% versus budget of 70%) and better than anticipated throughput (34% above budget). February 2015 also saw gold production ahead of budget (10,228 ounces produced versus 8,863 ounces budgeted).
According to B2Gold, this was a product of better grade than January at 1.57 grams per tonne (versus budget of 1.71), better mill recoveries at 97.82% (versus budget of 96.17%), and better mill availability at 91.7% for the month (versus budget of 82%). Based on the performance of the mill, and the fact that the Company met commercial production criteria of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput of 65% of faceplate capacity by February 28, 2015, the Otjikoto Gold Project is declaring commercial production as of that date.
The company said, for 2015, Otjikoto is expected to produce between 140,000 to 150,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of approximately $500-$525 per ounce and all in sustaining costs of approximately $700 per ounce. B2Gold expects annual gold production to increase to approximately 200,000 ounces in 2016 and 2017.
Meanwhile focusing on the expansion, B2Gold said, expansion of the Otjikoto mill from 2.5 million tonnes per year to 3.0 million tonnes per year continues on schedule with the installation of the first additional leach tank to be completed during Q1 2015.
“Major additional work that must be completed includes installation of a second leach tank, construction of a pebble crusher and associated piping and pumping components. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by 31 August. This will support additional throughput initially from the Otjikoto Mine and subsequently from the fully permitted Wolfshag deposit that is located immediately adjacent to the main, Otjikoto deposit,”said B2Gold. According to B2Gold, the project continued the excellent health and safety record with no lost time accidents for the months of January and February 2015.